Monday, July 9, 2012

The Valley of Sickness

Yesterday and today were the 10 month anniversary of our flooding due to Tropical Storm Lee (aided by Tropical Storm Irene mere weeks before plus a wetter than normal summer to begin with.)

We are approaching drought conditions here with almost record low river levels, which is a pretty big irony given that on September 9, 2011 the river was about 8 feet from the back of our house.  Blocks from where we live, buildings were drowned in over 8 feet of water.

We had almost no snow this past winter - great for walking, not so great for nature.  At the airport (on a high hilltop) we got 43.5 inches and came in third in the annual Golden Snowball competition.  At our river valley house, I think it was more like 20 inches.  Syracuse, about 70 miles north of here, had about 50 inches - winter before last, they got that much in one storm!

I was afraid of the "unintended consequences" of the flood and then our mild winter - and sure enough, our Susquehanna River Valley has turned into a valley of sickness.

A relative, who lives on a hill in the Town of Owego (a town very hard hit by the flood, as I've blogged previously) was sick a lot of the winter, thanks to asthma and other issues.

My spouse is so plagued by allergies and sinus, we had to cancel a trip to New Jersey to see a relative visiting from Texas because he was sick.  Every time the weather turns hot, he suffers, and I am so grateful we weren't one of the millions of people who lost power in that heatwave after the derecho of June 29.

Many people here have just been plain sick.

Then there were the outbreaks of hives.  I understand, from Internet research, that this is not uncommon after floods.  I'm sure stress in general didn't help, either.

When we moved here in the mid 1980's we were told that the Native Americans living here called our valley the "Valley of Sickness".  Apparently, thanks in part to a climate change and in part to a flood, we are once again a Valley of Sickness.

Have allergies been severe where you live this summer?

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